The has announced an investment of $52 million (€46 million) in , a German biopharmaceutical company specializing in mRNA-based vaccine technologies.
The equity-investment will support continued development of CureVac's RNA platform technology, which uses natural and chemically unmodified mRNA as a data carrier to instruct the human body to produce proteins capable of fighting a wide range of diseases, as well as construction of an industrial scale Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) production facility. According to the foundation, CureVac's novel technology is the broadest and most advanced mRNA therapeutic platform in the world and allows for rapid, low-cost production of multiple drugs and vaccines. In addition, its mRNA vaccines are thermostable, which eliminates the demand for cold-chain storage and infrastructure, a major challenge in most developing countries.
Under the terms of the agreement, any Gates Foundation-funded products will be made available by CureVac at an affordable price in poor countries. CureVac will be able to merchandise each Gates-funded product in developed countries on its own, through licensees or a combination of both. The new manufacturing facility also will have dedicated capacity to focus on products resulting from Gates Foundation-related projects.
"If we can teach the body to create its own natural defenses, we can revolutionize the way we treat and prevent diseases," said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Technologies like mRNA give us confidence to place big bets for the future. We are pleased to partner with CureVac who has been pioneering this technology."